NACA calls for DOT Leadership on pilot supply

National Air Carrier Association President and CEO George Novak calls on Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to lead broad, data-driven dialogue on pilot supply issues.

The National Air Carrier Association called on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg today to convene a meeting among all aviation stakeholders, including the major pilot unions and the Families of Continental Flight 3407, on possible solutions to increase the pilot supply and further enhance aviation safety, by the end of the year.

“Despite recent claims to the contrary, all aviation stakeholders – airlines, labor, the regulators and the flying public – have aviation safety as our first priority,” said NACA President and CEO George Novak. “Finger pointing is not leadership and mere claims and accusations, by any side, do not constitute facts.”

  • In 2022, the industry collectively needs to hire at least 7,500 pilots, yet the current number of new pilots produced is less than 5,000.
  • In the next five years, the industry will lose 12,000 active pilots due to the current regulatory mandate that pilots retire at age 65.
  • By 2030, the total shortfall of pilots will reach more than 28,000, resulting in $49 billion in lost revenue, nearly 1,800 grounded aircraft, and 174,000 lost U.S. airline jobs.

“We respectfully request that DOT convene this meeting by the end of the year, so that we can enter 2023 with some momentum,” Novak said. “Inaction, on all our parts, can no longer remain an option.”

Read NACA’s letter to Secretary Buttigieg here.

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